How Often Should my Fire Alarm be Inspected – 2023 Guide
It only takes a moment: one spark, an unplugged calorifer or a kitchen burner that remained turned on, a poor installation… And our entire living space and household are in grave danger. Anyone with at least basic knowledge of how these situations occur knows that the fire tends to spread at the speed of light – sometimes it takes less than five minutes for the flame to catch everything.
During this time, even firefighters can’t reach us and the consequences might be catastrophic – both material and psychological, if we experience trauma.
Fire alarms are actually the only thing – other than strict prevention – that could help in this case, since the precise performance of this device allows it to respond quickly. If they’re technically correct, and if everything is fine with them, there’s almost no chance of missing an alert after the first indication of a possible incident.
Of course, for this device to work properly and perform without interruption or crashes, our job is to make sure that it’s always faultless. Therefore, we’re ready to give you an insight into tips for checking if everything’s OK with it and for maintaining it in a good state.
The frequency of check-up needs to be high
How high? Well, not less than once a month. The ideal scenario is to perform the check-ups even more often, but let’s suppose that the first option will work perfectly fine. And why is this important at all, as you almost forget that you have it installed? You see, that’s precisely what could emerge as a problem – not realizing the significance of this device.
The cases when it’s rather recommendable to revise the alarms more often are mostly those when your devices aren’t new, for example, or if they have already been damaged in any way, but still functioning. Of course, if that’s the situation, you should always consider the replacement, however, if you aren’t able to do it at the moment or you need more money for that, at least make sure to check its well-being a couple of times in a month.
Also, if the fire or smoke detector starts ‘acting strangely’, for example, doing some strange noise or beeping even when there’s absolutely no smoke around, this is another reason to inspect it further and more often. Some models simply require thorough inspection and testing due to their specific system, so in order to avoid shortening their life span, be prepared to make this your new routine.
When placed in the kitchen, the fire alarms could become vulnerable and too sensitive to smoke – yes, that can happen, too. In such situations they don’t seem to be as effective as they’re supposed to be and they might even remain silent in case an incident emerges, increasing the chances for greater damage.
Things like power supplies and control panels need to be checked at least once in seven days, just to make sure everything’s fine and that there are no minor problems in this field.
Are you renting a house or a flat?
If you do, well, there’s another thing to take care of, apart from making sure that people who rent it from you are maintaining it well. Why is this your obligation? Mostly because you’re the owner of the apartment or the house. It’s your duty to make sure everything is safe before you bring other people to live there, as their security is also rather significant for you. So, yes – you’re the one who’s responsible for this.
Now you’ll ask – but how many times should I do it if I’m renting a flat? The answer is – at least twice in a year. We don’t need to mention that you can inform your subtenants about this kind of check – of course you can.
They can do it for you, but never forget it’s your job in the first place. If it seems too complicated for them, make sure to inspect the whole house and all alarms once in a six-month period. Oh, and still using batteries for your detectors? Better revise your system at least once every four or five months, as these are definitely more prone to experiencing dysfunction.
What are the ways this can be done?
People mostly rely on a couple of verified methods, which makes this process quite easy, so basically anyone can do it. Wondering how? Let’s see some ways:
- First things first – make sure nothing is wrong with the device physically. This means that it should be scretchless and that we shouldn’t be able to see any damage like cracks, dents or any similar kind of issue. The dust can sometimes bring its performance to dire straits, so exclude the possibility that it’s covering any inner part of this tiny machine, as it can only make it harder and eventually dysfunctional.
- If you don’t mind a little bit of beeping – trigger it. Pull out a box of matches or simply do anything to provoke the presence of the smoke. If it appears and if the machine reacts right away – you’re doing a good job. However, if it doesn’t react at all or if it needs much time to activate, think about fixing it or replacing it with another one.
- The sound of the alarm is also a good indicator of the efficiency of the apparatus. A loud noise is actually the crux of the matter, as we all need to be notified about the fire regardless of the part of the house we’re in. What’s the benefit of a detector if it’s heard in only one room or its sound is so weak that we can barely discern it if we’re away from the closed space where the flames appeared? That’s right – absolutely no use. Therefore, make sure it’s noticeable.
- The concern that you won’t be able to do it properly and realize if there’s something that needs to be fixed is absolutely normal and you shouldn’t be afraid to use a helping hand if things aren’t going so smoothly. That’s why expert companies are there to support you and provide you with the best piece of advice and with various types of professional tests.
We know that this is not the most interesting task and that you often wouldn’t even remember to make this kind of change. But it’s fundamental to realize that it’s something that our security greatly depends on. Therefore, every effort should be made to identify any potential problem in a timely manner in order to successfully cope with it and to keep our space intact and as a safe living environment.